Thomas Orchard: Police officers avoid misconduct hearing over custody death

Thomas Orchard
Thomas Orchard

source: The Independent
published: 13 July 2019

The family of a church caretaker who died after being restrained in police custody say they feel “failed beyond belief” by a decision to dismiss misconduct charges against four officers.

Thomas Orchard, 32, suffered a cardiac arrest when he was locked in a cell in Exeter with an emergency response belt placed around his face in October 2012.

He died in hospital seven days later and earlier this year Devon and Cornwall Police was fined £234,500 after admitting health and safety breaches.

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Police officer sacked after false account over Kingsley Burrell’s death

Kingsley Burrell - United We Must Stand
Kingsley Burrell – United We Must Stand

source: BirminghamLive
published: 18 December 2018

A West Midlands Police officer has been dismissed following a misconduct hearing for providing dishonest accounts after the death of Kingsley Burrell. Breaches of honesty and integrity, and duties and responsibilities, were found proven at gross misconduct level against PC Paul Adey.

The misconduct panel cleared the same officer and two other police constables of using excessive force prior to the death of 29-year-old father-of-three Mr Burrell from Walsall. The two other constables were also cleared of honesty and integrity allegations.

He had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act on 27 March 2011 and transferred to hospital three days later after police were called to a disturbance at the secure unit involving the 29-year-old.

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Family celebrate lasting legacy as ‘Seni’s Law’ receives Royal Assent

Woman in jail cellsources: INQUEST
published: 1 November 2018

Today the Mental Health (Use of Force) Bill has received Royal Assent in Parliament, eight years after the death of Seni Lewis for whom it is intended as a lasting legacy. Known as Seni’s Law, the Bill will increase protections and oversight on use of force in mental health settings.

The Private Members Bill brought by Steve Reed MP is named after Olaseni ‘Seni’ Lewis, a 23 year old IT graduate who died as a result of prolonged restraint by police officers whilst a voluntary inpatient at Bethlem Royal Hospital, Croydon in 2010.

Steve Reed MP has worked closely with the family of Seni Lewis, who are constituents of Croydon North. He worked on this Bill with the family’s lawyer Raju Bhatt, INQUEST, and a coalition of NGOs including Agenda , Article 39, Mind, Rethink and YoungMinds.

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